What started out as an idea by Wally Thurow in 1956 to offer something creative for the students of Sycamore has grown from a neighborhood display on his front yard into the town’s biggest city-wide event, beginning on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony and cake cutting and concluding on Sunday afternoon with a parade.
The festival has over 1000 entries in the Lions Club Decorated Pumpkin Display, two carnivals, many not-for-profit vendors, three indoor craft shows, Saturday entertainment, and various activities, and it concludes on Sunday with a 90-minute parade.
Back in 1956, Wally Thurow, who is known as Sycamore’s “Mr. Pumpkin,” began what was to become the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival when he displayed a few decorated pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. In 1962, through the efforts of Mr. Pumpkin and the Sycamore Lions Club, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration in Sycamore.
Every year, the Pumpkin Festival unites more than 30 DeKalb County not-for-profit groups, working to provide a weekend of Halloween fun for all. The Courthouse lawn is the center of activities, including thousands of decorated pumpkins on display, there are also art and craft shows, a house walk, a pie eating contest, a carnival, a fun fair, a race, and other events. The festival is concludes with a giant parade on Sunday afternoon.
The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival is a community celebration, showcasing our local not-for-profit organizations.
The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee is responsible for coordinating the annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, a family-oriented festival, to be held in the fall of each year. The festival promotes awareness of the City of Sycamore and provides and opportunity for DeKalb County not-for-profit organizations to participate in fund raising activities, community education, and enrichment.